Artistic Di=ector
"Psalms, Psalms, Psalms" "Psalms, Psalms, Psalms" > By the Rivers of Babylon for mixed chorus, percussions, and piano

By the Rivers of Babylon for mixed chorus, percussions, and piano

Psalm 137 describes a situation, too familiar to the Jewish people: Their sojourn in exile in Babylon, far away from Zion, their homeland and living among other nations. The Jews are being asked by their capturers to sing the “Song of G-d” but they refuse: “How can we sing it while sitting on a foreign land?” The Psalm is a testimony to the strong historical, religious and cultural connection of the people of Israel to the land of Israel and its eternal capital Jerusalem.

(Hebrew Transliteration)

1 `al naharot bâbhel
shâm yâshabhnu gam-bâkhiynu

5 'im-'eshkâchêkh yerushâlâim
tishkach yemiyniy

(English Translation)

1 By the rivers of Babylon,
there we sat down, yea, we wept,
when we remembered Zion.

5 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem,
let my right hand forget her cunning.

(Out of Psalm 137)

Ofer Ben-Amots                 

The spiritual Jewish people described in Romans 2:29, (But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. KJV) realize that God has made them experience the world that is symbolized by Babylon in the Bible. Through that experience, the spiritual Israeli, by the grace of the LORD, become the people of God who refuse to sing for Babylon and only look for Zion and Jerusalem which are symbols of Jesus Christ. Psalm 137 is the historical recognition of the people of God.



Gideon Gee-Bum Kim, managing/artistic directo
Copyright 2015 by Toronto Messiaen Ensemble